Rare Breed of the Month: The Chippiparai [Kanni]

Image by gopinathraja © Flickr

County of Origin: India
Height: 56-3.5cm* [22-25"]*
Weight: 15-20kg* [33-44lbs*]
Life Expectancy: 9+*

*There exist no formal documentation of the actual size, weight & life expectancy of the Chippiparai.

The Chippiparai is a breed of dog native to the South of India. Thought to be descended from the Saluki, the Chippiparai was bred to hunt hare, rabbit and wild boar and currently only recognized by The Kennel Club of India. Oftentimes called the greyhound of the South, the Chippiparai is a long, slender, yet robust breed of dog that comes in black & tan, fawn, red, cream and silver-grey with or without a black mask. Some may have white markings, although they are not preferred. They have a long, whip-like tail and a slight roach back & deep chest. The head is very similar to that of a greyhound but with a stronger muzzle and a slight stop. Folded, thrown back ears are preferred (rosebud), however you will often find drop ears or erect ears in some dogs. The coat is extremely short and close which is well suited to India’s climate and requires little grooming.

There exist two variations of the Chippiparai; the breed as described above, and the Kanni. The latter of which is much more slender and sleek and has a softer build of the two. The Kanni was possibly a seperate breed as some sources I’ve come across state, but much of the time, the two interbreed as there are very few of either left. The KCI only recognises the Chippiparai.

The Chippiparai is well on the verge of extinction. With the influx of more Westernized breeds, the native breeds of India have dwindled to but a few hobby breeders in isolated pockets. Many of the Chippiparai of today are smaller than they once were due in some part to the lack of a wide gene pool to select from.

The video below shows a Chippiparai performing a down/stay at a dog show. Right if the Chippiparai you can see a Rajapalayam which I have posted about previously.

More Photos:

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  1. Lovely dogs. Were I a breeder, I certainly would want to help maintain the breed though, only through your photos, I actually preferred the Kanni. That big, black adult looked like an exaggeration of Justus! Thanks for these posts.

    1. The Kanni are quite attractive aren’t they? In my research on the breed, I actually came across a kanni x dobie! S/he was quite the elegant little thing.

  2. Very interesting breed. Too bad it is so rare. Was it bad of me to wish it had broken its down stay so I could see its movement? ;)

    1. Haha! I know, I really wanted to find a video with more movement, but much of the ones I cam across weren’t of the best quality.

      I almost put the following video instead. It features Xena, one of the dogs in the photos above, running. =]

  3. refresing to read about rare indian breeds…you have missed one though kombai!. this breed is also from tamil nadu and i think it is also a sight hound. but sadly this breed also on verge of extinction.

  4. Thanks for the use full information about chippiparai & kanni.I have kanji male 2 year be for I buy from rajapalayam.now I am looking for a kanni female some body give me information.I am from Kerala

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